Saturday, March 21, 2009

Enough Finger Pointing and Ducking

If this week's government behavior with respect to AIG is representative of their approach to solving problems, I have low confidence that any of the economic solutions will have the necessary impact. This week was a big finger pointing and responsibility ducking event.

Dodd: Administration pushed for language protecting bonuses at reports that Sen. Christopher Dodd now acknowledges that he is responsible for the language grandfathering existing bonuses for companies receiving TARP funds, after denying earlier to CNN that he had anything to do with the amendment. According to the article, Senator Dodd now claims that an Obama administration requested the wording, because they were concerned about lawsuits against the government.

The article concludes with the following quote from Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, ""We own this company in effect, and we're not asking that these bonuses be rescinded because we have lent money to the company. I believe we are saying as the owners of the company, we do not think ... we should have paid bonuses to people who made mistakes who were incompetent."

Obama Accepts Blame for AIG Bonuses in The Wall Street Journal quotes President Obama as saying,"Washington is all in a tizzy and everybody is pointing fingers at each other and saying it's their fault, the Democrats' fault, the Republicans' fault. Listen, I'll take responsibility. I'm the President." At the same time, President Obama also deflects fault by saying, "We didn't grant these contracts."

Having spent the past two months blaming the economic woes on the Bush administration, it's time for Messrs. Dodd, Frank and Obama to stop posturing and start taking positive actions for solving the issue.

For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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